Aggression Essay Research Paper Verbal aggression is — страница 2

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etc.). In addition, the subject was required to self monitor for the following antecedents: clenched fists, tight jaw, rapid heart beat, and the emotions of anger, frustration and disappointment. Lastly, it was suggested by Infante (1995) that appropriate strategy must be taken to prevent verbal aggression from escalating. Successful avoidance of the antecedent conditions consisted of removing oneself from stressful situations, when possible, as well as not responding verbally when provoked. Weekly consultation revealed that verbal aggression was most often used to: 1) Escape demand situations. 2) Avoid demand situations. 3) Relieve job stress. The subject was to document the frequency of verbal aggression and record the circumstances of significant success or failure during the

work week for discussion at weekly consultation sessions. A schedule of reinforcement was developed for the subject. The reinforcement was to be given for successful avoidance of verbal aggression. Reinforcement included: five minutes alone for ‘quiet time’, when possible, or a short, silent prayer. Considering the stress and escalating nature of verbal aggression time alone was considered appropriate for ‘cool down’. If time alone was not possible or convenient the subject would say a short prayer when provoked. Results The results of the baseline phase revealed what was considered an extraordinarily high rate of verbal aggression. However, after the first week of data collection it was realized that verbal aggression was not operationally defined. The subject considered

verbal aggression on much broader terms than did the therapist which included subjective, rather than objective, behavior observations. Weekly consultation sessions revealed that cursing was the most common manifestation of the target behavior. When correctly defined using objective terms a decrease in verbal aggression was noted. Based on the results of baseline data it was mutually agreed that 4 to 8 episodes of aggression per day was significantly high and merited intervention. The results of the intervention phase of treatment revealed a sharp increase of verbal aggression over the first three weeks. This increase is thought to be due to extinction. Afterwards, a gradual decrease of verbal aggression was noted during weeks 4 through 9. No data was collected during week 10 due

to subject illness. The treatment phase ended with a weekly average of one episode of verbal aggression. After week five the subject stated that she no longer delivered the reinforcement after the behavior. She reported that the ability to control her emotions was in itself reinforcing and would maintain the behavior. Discussion The results of this program show that verbal aggression can be successfully decreased by identifying and avoiding its antecedent conditions. As stated previously, the subject used verbal aggression for escape from demanding or difficult situations, relief from stress, and avoidance of demanding or difficult situations. The behavior appears to be maintained through positive reinforcement. Because the subject is in a position of some power and influence

there were relatively few consequences for the behavior. Ebbesen, Duncan and Konecni (1974) suggested that verbal aggression could be reinforced and maintained in such a manner. Since the most common form of verbal aggression was cursing, the method of identifying and avoiding the antecedents proved very successful. Infante (1995) used a similar method with young students. When replicating this program it may be appropriate to focus on the positive behavior rather than the negative. Instead of documenting the frequency of verbal aggression it may have been better to document the frequency of successful avoidance of verbal aggression. In this way we would help to internalize the strategy to maintain the behavior, as well as having a more positive and constructive program. A

question raised by Golin and Romanowski (1977) was is there a sex difference in the rate and target of verbal aggression. Although this question was not investigated in the current program, it does raise an intriguing question for future study. References Ebbessen, E. B., Duncan, B., & Konecni, V. J. (1974). Effects of Content of Verbal Aggression: A Field Experiment. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 11, 192-204. Golin, S., & Romanowski, M. (1977). Verbal Aggression as a Function of Sex of Subject and Sex of Target. Journal of Psychology, 97, 141-149. Infante, D. A. (1995). Teaching Students to Understand and Control Verbal Aggression. Communication Education, 44, 51-63.